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How to Get Cigarette Smoke Odor Out of your Home

By Luke Armstrong

Cigarette smoke odor penetrates almost all household materials and is very difficult to get rid of.
If you don’t want your home to smell like an ashtray, you will find our simple yet highly effective tips on removing cigarette odor very useful.

When someone blows a smoke heart or other fascinating smoke shapes, the observers are usually quite impressed and amused. But while delightful smoke tricks can entertain and attract people, smoke odor definitely drives them back as it is very unpleasant and irritating. Cigarette smoke is proven to be harmful to the health and the environment. What’s more, it leaves a yellowish-brown residue that sticks to every surface in a home and is quite difficult to remove. This residue is the very reason why smoke odor lingers long after the premises have been aired and nobody has smoked inside. The extremely small smoke particles can penetrate almost all household materials, resulting in a persistent cigarette smell. It is so repulsive that people sometimes change their mind about buying or renting a property if it smells like an ashtray. However, you shouldn’t give up on a house or apartment you like just because of the smoke odor. Getting rid of smoke smell is not easy but it is perfectly feasible – all you need is time, patience, and the right approach.

Whether you’re a smoker and you’re trying to sell your house, or you’ve just moved into a place that reeks of cigarettes, you will need an effective cigarette odor removal method. The following proven tips will help you get cigarette smell out of your house quickly and efficiently.

Quick Cigarette Smoke Removal Solutions

To immediately remove cigarette smell from your surroundings, you can try any of the easy odor removal tips below:

  • Air the premises – fresh air is the arch-enemy of any unpleasant smells. So, open the windows and turn on the fans as proper ventilation is essential for improving the air quality in your home;
  • Use air purifiers – they cannot fully eliminate cigarette odor but will considerably decrease smoke smell and speed up the process of cleaning the air. Besides, they will help avert allergy symptoms, which makes them particularly useful when a member of your family is allergic to cigarette smoke;
  • Place bowls of white vinegar, coffee, or active charcoal around the house – all these substances absorb odor very well and will help purify the air (distilled white vinegar is particularly efficient). Pineapple slices can also help neutralize bad smells – just place them around the room and keep the doors and windows shut for 24 hours;

    Masking bad odor will not provide a permanent solution to your problem.
    Indoor plants, scented candles, and orange peels will help you refresh the air in your home. However, you need to take much more radical steps to completely remove cigarette smell from your surroundings.
  • Sprinkle baking soda over carpets and upholstery – let it stay until the next day to absorb as much of the odor as possible, then vacuum it;
  • Get indoor plants – plants absorb indoor air pollutants and purify the air, so the more you have, the easier it will be to get rid of cigarette smoke;
  • Leave orange peels around or use candles – the strong pleasant scent of citrus fruits and aroma candles will mask any bad smells in your home. However, that is all they can do – the smoke odor will return as soon as you take the peels or the candles away.

All these methods provide a quick but temporary solution to the problem. Thorough cleaning is the only way to get rid of smoke smell once and for all.

How to Get Rid of Cigarette Smell in House Permanently

Full cleaning is necessary for removing cigarette smell from the house as tobacco smoke residue sticks to your household materials and surfaces, trapping the bad odor inside. There are several steps to take for complete smoke odor removal:

Refresh the Air in Your Home

Open the windows and allow fresh air inside. Then, replace all the air filters in your home, such as furnace filters and AC filters, so that only clean air is circulated throughout the premises. Purifying the air is a vital step for ensuring healthy living conditions and preventing airborne bacteria and viruses from spreading around.

Invite fresh air into your home!
Invite fresh air into your home!

Clean the Entire House Thoroughly

To get rid of cigarette smell you need to clean every nook and cranny of your property:

  • Clean the walls and ceilings – you need to be very meticulous when cleaning the walls and ceilings in your home, as they retain lots of smoke particles and help trap the odor inside. Use cleaning products that contain ammonia or glycol to wipe the surfaces. Both substances are very effective when it comes to neutralizing bad smells but they are also harsh chemicals, so keep young children and pets out of the room you are cleaning at the moment. Rinse well, let the walls and ceilings dry completely, and check for remaining smoke odor. In case it is not completely gone, you may want to consider repainting the surfaces. It is a good idea to apply a sealant first (choose one that is specially designed to lock in odors) and then use latex paint to make sure the cigarette smell will never appear again;
  • Clean floors and windows – add some vinegar into clean water and wash the windowpanes to make them crystal clear. Pay special attention to the window frames and sills, and also to the blinds, as smoke residue sticks mainly to them, not to the glass. Use hot water and vinegar to scrub plastic blinds and wood-friendly products for wooden blinds. Then, take care of the floors – choose an appropriate cleaning agent for the type of floors in your home and scrub the surfaces thoroughly. Don’t overlook corners and edges and spare some time to clean the doors and the door frames as well. It requires lots of effort but the results will be worth the hard work;
  • Clean the furniture – this may be trickier than it seems but it is essential for the successful outcome of your smoke odor removal efforts. You can always wipe your furniture with a cloth dampened with soapy water but specialized commercial cleaners will be more effective for removing the smoke odor that has penetrated your pieces. Purchase adequate cleaning products and strictly follow the usage directions to safely clean your furniture. Don’t forget to clean inside the cupboards, cabinets, drawers, etc. as well and let the pieces air dry. If possible, take them out on a sunny windy day, so that the fresh air completely eliminates any persistent smells;

    Thorough cleaning will help you get rid of cigarette smell permanently.
    Deep house cleaning is required to permanently get rid of cigarette smell.
  • Clean carpets and upholstery – smoke particles get embedded deep into the carpet fibers, so removing them is a very challenging task. As already mentioned, sprinkling baking soda over carpets and upholstery helps decrease the smoke smell, but this is not an efficient long-term solution. Steam cleaning yields much better results, so it is recommended for effective smoke odor removal. However, keep in mind that delicate materials, such as leather upholstery or silk carpets, can be easily damaged if handled improperly, so you’d better not risk it – ask for qualified assistance. If you don’t have the time or the means to deal with cigarette smell on your own or if it persists despite your efforts, your last resort is to have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning will restore the good condition of your carpets and upholstery and will literally bring them back to life;
  • Clean all surfaces and fixtures – to effectively complete the deep cleaning of your home, you will have to also clean all the countertops, tabletops, vanities, etc. If you have natural stone countertops or other delicate household materials, be very careful when choosing an appropriate cleaner and always try it on a small inconspicuous area Make sure all the surfaces in your home are spotless and free of any smoke residue. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean all the kitchen and bathroom fixtures, too. Finally, wash the glass shades of your lamps and clean the lamp bases according to their material, wipe the mirrors and the pictures (don’t overlook the frames), and make sure all your bric-a-brac is free of cigarette smell;
  • Wash curtains, bedding, cushions, furniture covers and any other fabrics in your home – believe it or not cigarette smell gets in all fabric materials, even clothes, and improper cleaning may set the odor instead of removing it. The best way to get cigarette smoke out of clothes and curtains, bedding, etc. is to machine wash them (just don’t forget to add white vinegar to the wash water). Have in mind that vinegar is natural bleach and will cause colors to fade, so you should never let fabrics sit for a long time in vinegar and water. If any of your cushions or furniture covers don’t fit in the washing machine or if they are made of more delicate materials, you are advised to have them professionally cleaned. Professional assistance is also a good idea if the cigarette odor persists even after you have washed the fabrics.

Use Professional Services

Professional deodorization yields excellent results.
No need to worry! Professional odor removal services will help you avoid nightmare scenarios.

Getting rid of cigarette smell is a laborious and time-consuming process. Purified air and impeccably clean surroundings are the main prerequisites for a successful result. However, that’s quite a difficult task – you need to use adequate cleaners to prevent damage to your fine household items and, also, to pay meticulous attention to all the details when cleaning your property. If you don’t have enough time for a thorough cleaning, if you’re not sure what cleaning products or methods to use, or if the problem is too severe, your best option is to call professional assistance. Smoke remediation specialists have extensive experience and advanced equipment, such as ozone generators, hydroxyl technology, nano filters, airs scrubbers, etc. They will use the most efficient odor removal techniques and appropriate cleaning products for the types of materials in your home to ensure the best possible results. The deodorization process will be quick and the air in your home will be sweet and fresh once again. Research your options and hire the best professionals for your specific case to save yourself time and efforts and ensure your peace of mind.

Consult the above odor removal tips to find the ones that will work best for you! Once you manage to get cigarette smoke odor out of your home, you will be able to enjoy fresh, healthy and appealing living conditions.